Skin δ13C and δ15N reveal spatial and temporal patterns of habitat and resource use by free-ranging odontocetes from the southwestern Atlantic Ocean

Genyffer Cibele Troina, Silvina Botta, Frank Dehairs, Juliana Couto Di Tullio, Marc Elskens, Eduardo Resende Secchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Large diversity and abundance of cetacean species occur along the Brazilian outer continental shelf and slope waters. In the present study we analysed carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotopes in skin biopsies of ten odontocete species (Delphinidae and Physeteridae) to assess the intra- and interspecific patterns in the use of resources along the region. Our isotopic analysis allowed us to identify two potential subpopulations of Stenella frontalis. High core isotopic niche overlap between S. frontalis from the southern range of the study area and Delphinus delphis, especially in spring, suggested that they share similar resources and rely on spatiotemporal segregation to achieve niche differentiation and to minimize competition. Our isotopic data also pointed to high similarity among Tursiops truncatus, S. frontalis and Globicephala melas in the use of resources. Steno bredanensis had the highest δ15N and δ13C, which agrees with its occurrence in neritic waters. S. longirostris showed consistently low δ15N values, indicating that they feed at relatively lower trophic levels, and lack of niche overlap with most delphinid species, except S. attenuata. Orcinus orca and G. melas had very similar δ13C and δ15N values, that were consistent with feeding in offshore waters. δ13C and δ15N in Physeter macrocephalus suggested that individuals feed on similar trophic levels, but over a wide spatial range. The analyses of stable isotopes in skin biopsies helped us refine our knowledge about the intra-specific resource and habitat use, ecological niches and the trophic interactions amongst co-occurring cetaceans from the oceanic waters of the subtropical western South Atlantic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number186
Pages (from-to)167-187
Number of pages19
JournalMarine Biology
Volume167
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by Chevron Brazil Upstream Frade Ltda (number CW702315); and by BG Group, Brazil. The Brazilian Inter-Ministerial Commission for the Resources of the Sea (CIRM) supplied diesel for the ship for all surveys. The Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) provided a doctoral scholarship (Process 88881.135706/2016–01) and a post-doctoral fellowship (88887.314453/2019–00—PROANTAR) to GCT and the National Council for Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) provided a research fellowship to ERS (PQ 310597/2018–8).

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all the researchers and students who helped collecting the data at sea and the crew of FURG’s R/V “Atlântico Sul”. We would also like to thank V.M. Tavano and O.O. Möller Jr. (Oceanography Institute, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande—FURG, Brazil), V. Franco-Trecu (Universidad de la República, Uruguay), N. Brion and H.O. Venterink (Vrije Universiteit Brussel—VUB, Belgium), and S. Bouillon (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) for reviewing the early drafts of this manuscript. We also thank the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. This project was funded by Chevron Brazil Upstream Frade Ltda; and by BG Group, Brazil. The Brazilian Inter-Ministerial Commission for the Resources of the Sea (CIRM) supplied diesel for the ship for all surveys. This article is part of GCT’s Ph.D. thesis in Biological Oceanography at FURG in co-tutelage with VUB, under the supervision of ERS, SB, and FD. The Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) provided a doctoral scholarship (Process 88881.135706/2016-01) and a post-doctoral fellowship (88887.314453/2019-00—PROANTAR) to GCT, access to the Portal de Periódicos, and financial support through the Programa de Excelênca Acadêmica (PROEX). The National Council for Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) provided a research fellowship to ERS (PQ 310597/2018-8). We acknowledge financial support from VUB in the framework of the FURG–VUB co-tutelage agreement (OZR3112). The co-tutelage agreement is within the scope of the Capes PrInt Program (public notice 041/2017). This study is a contribution of the Research Group “Ecologia e Conservação da Megafauna Marinha-EcoMega/CNPq” and the Brazilian National Institute of Science and Technology—INCT-Mar COI funded by CNPq (proc. 400551/2014-4) and TRIATLAS Project, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 817578.

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all the researchers and students who helped collecting the data at sea and the crew of FURG?s R/V ?Atl?ntico Sul?. We would also like to thank V.M. Tavano and O.O. M?ller Jr. (Oceanography Institute, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande?FURG, Brazil), V. Franco-Trecu (Universidad de la Rep?blica, Uruguay), N. Brion and H.O. Venterink (Vrije Universiteit Brussel?VUB, Belgium), and S. Bouillon (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) for reviewing the early drafts of this manuscript. We also thank the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. This project was funded by Chevron Brazil Upstream Frade Ltda; and by BG Group, Brazil. The Brazilian Inter-Ministerial Commission for the Resources of the Sea (CIRM) supplied diesel for the ship for all surveys. This article is part of GCT?s Ph.D. thesis in Biological Oceanography at FURG in co-tutelage with VUB, under the supervision of ERS, SB, and FD. The Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) provided a doctoral scholarship (Process 88881.135706/2016-01) and a post-doctoral fellowship (88887.314453/2019-00?PROANTAR) to GCT, access to the Portal de Peri?dicos , and financial support through the Programa de Excel?nca Acad?mica (PROEX).?The National Council for?Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) provided a research fellowship to ERS (PQ 310597/2018-8). We acknowledge financial support from VUB in the framework of the FURG?VUB co-tutelage agreement (OZR3112). The co-tutelage agreement is within the scope of the Capes PrInt Program (public notice 041/2017). This study is a contribution of the Research Group ?Ecologia e Conserva??o da Megafauna Marinha-EcoMega/CNPq? and the Brazilian National Institute of Science and Technology?INCT-Mar COI funded by CNPq (proc. 400551/2014-4) and TRIATLAS Project, which has received funding from the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 817578.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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